From ‘The Phoenix and the Carpet’ (1904) by Edith Nesbit.
Four suburban children (two girls and two boys) have discovered a Phoenix wrapped up in a Persian carpet. The fire-bird, proud of its homeland, has encouraged them to send the magic carpet back to fetch Persia’s ‘most beautiful and delightful’ produce, and the bulging carpet has just returned.
‘MY hat!’ Cyril remarked. ‘I never thought about its being a PERSIAN carpet.’
Yet it was now plain that it was so, for the beautiful objects which it had brought back were cats — Persian cats, grey Persian cats, and there were, as I have said, 199 of them, and they were sitting on the carpet as close as they could get to each other. But the moment the children entered the room the cats rose and stretched, and spread and overflowed from the carpet to the floor, and in an instant the floor was a sea of moving, mewing pussishness.
‘I imagine that they are hungry,’ said the Phoenix. ‘Why not send the carpet to get food for them?’. So it was written that the carpet should bring food for 199 Persian cats, and the paper was pinned to the carpet as before. The carpet seemed to gather itself together, and the cats dropped off it, as raindrops do from your mackintosh when you shake it. And the carpet disappeared.